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MITRE Opens New Small UAS Test Range

New Gadgets, Old Dominion

Founded in 1958, the Mitre Corporation (stylized MITRE) is an American non-profit organization managing federally-funded research and development centers (FFRDC) supporting various U.S. government agencies in the aviation, defense, healthcare, homeland security, and cybersecurity sectors.

On 15 August 2023, MITRE announced the opening of a new, Orange, Virginia test-range dedicated to the development, testing, and evaluation of small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), commercial robotics, autonomous systems, and drone and counter-drone systems.

Yosry Barsoum, MITRE vice president and director, Center for Securing the Homeland, stated: “We take great pride in being a trusted partner for agencies in helping them select and evaluate the right UAS and C-UAS tools for their unique needs. This new testing range will enable agencies and industry to work hand in hand to build safer communities.”

The test-range’s opening included a ribbon-cutting attended by distinguished guests the likes of Jeffrey Vincent, executive director of the FAA’s UAS Integration Office, and Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (Democrat, Virginia), who represents the Orange, Virginia locale in Congress.

Mr. Vincent set forth: “The drone range will provide a tremendous opportunity for valuable collaboration amongst government, industry, and academic researchers benefitting the drone community at large.”

Congresswoman Spanberger fawned: “This moment marks a major milestone for Orange County, Virginia’s economy, and this technology’s promise to make America safer and stronger. As someone with a background in national security, I understand how critical—and how necessary—these technologies are for the future defense of our homeland, our communities, and our people.”

Gaining momentum, Spanberger rattled on: “That’s why I was proud to join MITRE leaders and local officials as we reiterated our commitment to making sure Virginia continues to lead the way in this field. I’m thrilled that MITRE has selected Orange County for this range, and it’s truly an exciting day to be a Virginian.”

In keeping with the non-profit’s history of innovation and public-safety initiatives, MITRE has partnered with U.S. police, firefighters, and security and public safety organizations for purpose of developing and evolving UAS technologies germane to the situations and conditions frequently encountered by first-responders.

Presently, the U.S. Army and Navy are about the business of implementing MITRE’s groundbreaking, if not poorly-named, CARPE Dronvm—a smartphone app-controlled counter-drone solution by which soldiers and sailors may swiftly report and decisively thwart aerial threats.

MITRE Engenuity, a subsidiary of MITRE, has researched the benefits of wide-area 5G cellular network architectures on UAS, specifically those intended to operate Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS). Engenuity is also developing a first-responder training program pertaining to the safe, effective, and efficient conduct of drone operations.

MITRE senior manager Steve King asserted: “Our team of experts works tirelessly to ensure our drone solutions are not only cutting-edge but also user-friendly, allowing agencies to harness the full potential of UASs.”



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